© Mrs Pennie Keech
MARSHALL MILLS, UNION PLACE (north side)
LEEDS, LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE
Mrs Pennie Keech
13 January 2002
09 March 1987
Date of last amendment:
11 September 1996
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
SE2932NE MARSHALL STREET, Holbeck
714-1/80/846 (West side)
09/03/87 Marshall Mills
(Formerly Listed as:
Marshall Mills, at junction of
Marshall Street and Union Place)
Flax mill, now several industrial units. 1817, 1827 and 1830,
with later alterations and additions. For John Marshall.
Ironwork by Matthew Murray's Round Foundry. Red-brown brick in
English bond, slate roofs.
PLAN: U-plan open on west side comprising 3 ranges: the north
range of 1817, the south range of 1827, heightened in 1830,
and the linking east range of 1830 on the street frontage.
Windows: segmental brick arches, projecting stone sills except
where otherwise indicated, some altered to doorways, others
retain small-pane glazing in upper portions.
EXTERIOR: north range: 5 storeys with attic, Marshall Street
gable end has 3 round-arched first-floor windows flanked by
square-section chimney shaft rising above eaves band left and
staircase bay right, both set back slightly, lunette window in
gable; central 4-panel door with overlight in pilastered
doorcase; rear, west gable: small paired windows, blocked
original openings include a central tier of small
segmental-arched windows flanked by small round oculi in
header bricks and a large lunette window to gable; right
return: staircase bay projects left, approx 14 bays, central
2-bay projection, blocked oculi far right; courtyard facade
similar, with oculi to left.
South range: 6 storeys, 4-window facade to Marshall Street set
back slightly from line of east range, C20 doors with
overlight in pilastered doorcase, gable lunette on band; rear,
west gable: the 3 lower storeys obscured by later additions,
narrow windows to right of centre above, part-blocked lunette
in gable, short tower/flue projects above gable; left return,
to Union Place: 13 bays, small windows to bay 2, blocked
windows far right, stone coping to parapet; courtyard facade:
2 pilaster buttresses centre and left.
East (infill) range: 6 storeys, 11 first-floor windows,
continuous sill bands.
INTERIOR: north range: 3 rows of cruciform cast-iron columns
supporting segmental brick arches; wooden roof. South range:
cylindrical cast-iron columns supporting inverted T-section
beams, cast-iron roof structure composed of principal rafters,
angle braces, curved collars and king-posts. East range roof
structure similar to south.
HISTORICAL NOTE: John Marshall was the son of Jeremiah, a
dealer in cloth in Leeds, and married Jane Pollard the
daughter of a Halifax manufacturer. He followed his father's
trade as a linen draper and with capital left by his father
set up a mill near Adel, being joined there by Matthew Murray,
the engineer. In 1791 Marshall built a new water-powered mill
between the Hol Beck and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, taking
advantage of the Aire and Calder Navigation and later the
completed Leeds and Liverpool link to bring flax from the
Baltic and Ireland. The spun yarn was sold to local weavers
and to handloom weavers in Cumberland and Scotland and
exported to weaving mills in Ireland and on the Continent;
linen thread was exported to the United States and linen cloth
all over the world.
The line of Marshall Street was established by the warehouse
at the northern end when the business was expanded in 1808 and
the premises extended along the entire western side by 1843.
The result of Marshall's association with Matthew Murray, who
patented a flax-spinning machine in 1790 and built his Round
Foundry on the Water Lane/Marshall Street junction (qv), was
the highest standard of building structure, machinery and
maintenance available at that time and the first successful
water and steam powered flax spinning mill. The north range of
1817 was the end block of a roadside group extending from the
warehouse and which included a flax-drying house and
mechanic's shop, both demolished.
The range's structure of cruciform columns has been described
as somewhat conservative for its time but possibly displaying
the influence of the structurally untutored Matthew Murray
(Fitzgerald 1988), it contained a 70hp steam engine, one of
the largest of the time. Ten years later the south range was
built, the upper storeys and new roof structure added in 1830
when the linking east range was built. This roof structure has
been described as 'noteworthy', each truss composed of 3
principal castings bolted together, the strength of the frame
derived from the form of the lower chord; the group is an
important example of the experimentation in cast-iron
structures being undertaken in the early C19.
John Marshall's mills processed one-tenth of the country's
total import of flax and his success inspired the
establishment of 59 flax mills in Leeds by 1839, most centred
on Water Lane and East Street (qv). He was one of the first
millionaires of the Industrial Revolution and MP for Yorkshire
(Industrial Archaeology Review: Fitzgerald, RS: The
Development of the Cast Iron Frame in Textile Mills: 1988-:
127; Grady K, Leeds Civic Trust: Historical information
produced for Plaque unveiling 14/02/89; Hatcher J: The
Industrial Architecture of Yorkshire: 1985-: 155).